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. pretty cool, huh? >> and a little later what we can expect from first lady michelle obama in her second term. that and a christmas story that is bound to warm your heart. we begin with this live image from honolulu, hawaii where the president and first lady have just arrived. hundreds of hawaiians started gathering saturday to welcome the senator home and pay respects. inouye was a recipient for the medal of honor for his braver. kristen welker joins me now from honolulu. a warm christmas, i see. >> reporter: yes indeed. it is lovely here. >> the president is on christmas vacation and so is congress. that doesn't mean they don't have work to do as the fiscal cliff looms. i take it this is a working vacation. >> reporter: white house officials have described this as a working vacation and talks are going on behind the scenes between white house staffers and hill staffers. the reality is the bulk of this probably won't get done until after christmas when lawmakers are expected to resume negotiations. there is a lot of frustration especially among senior members in both parties in part bec
everyone some good here. >> that's right. on friday when president obama spoke to the nation before he left to come to hawaii he urged members of congress to take these days off during the holidays, to cool off and to gain some perspective. here's more of what president obama had to say. take a listen. >> so, as we leave town for a few days to be with our families for the holidays i hope it gives everybody some perspective. everybody can cool off. everybody can drink some eggnog, have some christmas cookies and sing some christmas carols, enjoy the company of loved ones. >> now the president also conceded that given the time crunch, there's probably not enough time to get a large deal done. so he really urged lawmakers to work together to at least get a deal that would prevent middle class americans and that lays the groundwork for deficit reduction and the president saying he remains hopeful that something can get done before the all-important january 1st deadline and i am told by sources at the white house that this will be a working vacation for the president. >> working in terms of what
? you remember that. a little bit later, president obama has not kept his promise of closing down get mo just yet, but he's indicating the war on terror as we know it could come to a close soon. this is msnbc, the place for politics. >>> the gop is working overtime to present a different face to latinos in regards to immigration tuesday. kay bailey hutchison of texas and jon kyl of arizona introduced the achieve act. it offers three steps that could lead to permanent legal status. joining me now from dallas, texas, to talk about the achieve act and the future of immigration legislation, outgoing senator kay bailey hutchison. senator, good to see you. >> thank you, craig. good to be here. >> first of all, really quickly for folks who aren't familiar with the achieve act, what are those -- those three paths? >> it would start with the ability for a student who has come here before the age of 14 illegally with their parents, of course, and they've graduated from american high schools, they would have six years to get some kind of degree, a vocational degree, a college degree, and then they
that democrats are terrible because they took $716 billion from medicare for obama care and what do we want to do? pocket the cuts and add more. our chief demand is entitlement cuts. medicare and social security. >> talk about the debt ceiling and where this is played in to this conversation. that is coming up in february or supposed to come up in february. john boehner made the offer to take it off the table for a year but i want to show what lindsey graham has to say over the weekend on "meet the press." >> the big chance for a big deal is that the debt ceiling. that's when we'll have leverage to turn the country around, prevent it from becoming greece and save social security and medicare and to anybody listening to this program, i'll raise the debt ceiling only if we save medicare and social security from insolvency and prevent this country from becoming greece. >> prevent this country from becoming greece. what is your reaction to that? >> absolute and utter nonsense. this country is not becoming greece. this country -- this country, frankly, has a big unemployment problem. we have a deficit
after the end of the first term for president obama saying that she frankly just needed some rest. now unfortunately hospitalized for this blood clot. we will, as i said, keep you posted as we get more information. >>> meantime, the fiscal cliff stand-off in washington continues. at this late hour the senate and house of representatives both went into recess, still no deal. republican senate leader mitch mcconnell reached out to vice president joe biden to help reach an agreement. two men who have served as their party's closers, so to speak, on tough deals before. senate majority leader harry reid says he plans to have a plan up for a vote tomorrow morning. although there are serious differences on both sides. >> we're not going to have any social security cuts at this stage, it just doesn't seem appropriate. i still hold out hope we can get something done but i'm not overly optimistic but i am cautiously optimistic. >> republicans pushed back on claims by democrats that the social security benefit measurement, which is known as the chained cpi and basically would reduce the amount of
. welcome to this special edition of "m schsnb"msnbc." as for president obama and john boehner, they are miles apart. neither are them talking about the deal the country really needs. kristin, we were talking yesterday that there's a possibility the president was considering coming back early perhaps thshould they strike a deal of some sort. >> i think it's likely president obama will cut his vacation short. we haven't gotten guidance about when that is going to happen. the white house is calling this a working vacation, but the reality is that talks are largely deadlocked over the fiscal cliff. there have been a few conversations going on at the staff level but really the expectation is that the hard work is going to get done when lawmakers return to washington after the christmas holiday, a little bit later on this week. that's when they're going to resume negotiations in earnest. of course there had been hopes that the president and house speaker john boehner were going to get a deal done. if you looked at the beginning of last week, they were getting close to a deal it appe
obama also pushed away republican senator orrin hatch called his proposal, radical. >> it's unacceptable for some republicans in congress to hold middle class tax cuts hostage simply because they refuse to let tax rates go up on the we weltmist americans. >> what he proposed this week is a classic bait and switch on the american people. a tax increase doubled the size of what he campaigned on. >> joining me now nbc news white house correspondent mike viqueira. mike, let's talk about this thing. this is the time the lawmakers are breaking out the rule book to find some tricks. how does pelosi think she can force a vote on middle class tax cuts? >> it's funny, craig, the president visited the tinker toy factory yesterday but he's not playing around, that is for certain. his opening bid delivered by tim geithner the treasury secretary on thursday up on the hill was such a one-way document as far as republicans were concerned that the republican leader of the senate broke out in a burst of laughter when he saw $1.6 trillion in new revenues, principally from taxes on the wealthiest americans.
on the middle east peace talks talks about what he hopes president obama will do and why he thinks his family deserves credit for the president's second term. >>> plus which pro tension 2016 presidential candidate says they could see themselves as a superhero. "power rangers" style. good afternoon, i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc. it's 29 days until the nation could fall off the fiscal cliff are the two sides closer, to avoid the massive tax increases and budget cuts? not according to house speaker john boehner. >> right now i would say we're nowhere. period. we're nowhere. >> the only thing standing in the way of that would be a refusal by republicans to accept the rates that are going to have to go up on wealthiest americans. i don't really see them doing that. >> nbc news white house correspondent, mike viquiera joining me now. treasury secretary timothy geithner, president obama's point man in these fiscal cliff negotiations, ran the gauntlet this morning. he appeared on all five sunday talk shows, including "meet the press" of course, what else did he say? >> craig, you know if w
talks will boil down to what happens between two people and only two people. president obama and john boehner. even all sides of the party are excluded. >>> with 25 days before taxes go up for nearly every single american, what effect will the jobs report have on the fiscal standoff? we'll get live remarks from john boehner who is going to try to use the jobs report to the republican's advantage. representative, let's start with the november jobs report numbers. they look very good, good news overall for the koirnlt tree. but speaker boehner said this, the democrats plan to slow walk our economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff instead of engaging in serious talks to avert the cliff, that includes spending cuts and tax reforms the president once supported. the white house has only offered a joke. i understand we have speaker boehner to the microphones. let's take a listen. >> when it comes to the fiscal cliff that's threatening our economy and threatening jobs, the white house has wasted another week. eight days ago secretary geithner came here to offer a plan that had twice the tax hi
to his guns. david axelrod from the obama side of things fired back saying he is an ego maniacal act. so we got both firing off. republicans psyched at thinking if they do go over the edge, that they can get over the edge of the specter of grover norquist. the shadow of that and that there will be a clean slately 2013. >> well, depends on what you mean by clean slate. i don't think republicans will ever move away from lower taxes, reduced spending. in fact, there's another poll out today that talks about people really supporting the idea of making cuts. not just raising taxes but making cuts to reduce spending. so i think the public wants cuts. the public wants to reduce out-of-control spending. republicans have said they will put tax money on the table. so there's a lot more agreement out there that people are being given credit for. probably have said we'll do tax revenue, as long as we have tax cuts. getting away from grover norquist, he's one man. the taxes i don't think we'll ever see republican party move away from. >> half the americans trust the president more in handling of nego
of the screen here, president obama who is at andrews air force base, the president expected to hop on a plane to take air force one over to newtown, connecticut to take part in a vigil tonight. he'll be meeting with first responders, he'll also be meeting with family members of some of the survivors there. as you can see president obama making his way to air force one. kristen well welker who's standing by to travel with the president. what can we expect to hear from president obama tonight? >> reporter: as you mentioned, president obama is going to start off by meeting with the folks who were most affected by this tragedy as he arrives in newtown, connecticut. he'll be speaking with family members and first responders here at newtown high school. he said his comment also focus on the victims, on the lives lost. this is becoming an all too familiar path for this president. this will be the fourth time he will have spoken to a community that is reeling in the wake of a gun massacre. just this summer, he went to a aurora, colorado in the wake of the shooting there. last year, it was tucson, ari
with president obama digging in his heels about raising taxes on the wealthiest. senior administration official telling "the wall street journal" there will be no new offers until republicans allow tax rates to go up on top earners. this morning, the president accusing the gop of brinksmanship while republican senator orrin hatch said democrats are asking for too much. >> it's unacceptable for some republicans in congress to hold middle class tax cuts hostage simply because they refuse to let tax rates go up on the weltiest americans. >> what he proposed this week was a classic bait and switch on the american people. a tax increase double the size of what he campaigned on. >> joining me now nbc white house news correspondent mike viqueira. what can you make of this? fiscal cliff talks are they a nonstarter? >> i tell you, you listen to everything that is being said publicly. you see the president there. it's clear that the election, yes, is over. but the campaign goes on here. you know, i really believe that there two things that are clear from the white house to republicans. we are still in pr
. but with pessimism running high, the vice presidents go involved in negotiations. president obama says the inaction of any deal is the result of republican resistance. >> they say their biggest priority is to deal with the deficit in the biggest way. but their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest americans are protected. at some point, i think what's important is that they listen to the american people. >> joining me now, congressman chris von holland of maryland. good evening. it is a good sign that chained cpi is off the table. the senate will be back tomorrow at 11:00. how high is your optimism or pessimism at this moment? >> well, it was a very bad sign when senator mcconnell put this social security change on the table, as part of a small deal, that was obviously something that could have totally thrown a monkey wrench into the process. so the fact that they backed off that is obviously good news. but as senator reid said, there are lots of obstacles still to go. and the fundamental issue remains what the president just said in that clip. both today and for the last
. doomed from the start. it won't pass. democrats won't agree to it. president obama wouldn't sign such a bill and the american people won't support it. >> you don't get people together until they finally sit down at the table and negotiate. it's still too much posturing, still too much the president wants his way, somebody else wants it that way. >> the gop's opening bid includes $2.2 trillion in tax reform, entitlement reform. but here's the problem, it includes no tax hike for the top 2% that republicans must have and something that the president repeated on the campaign trail. >> the obstacle here continues to be republicans who hold out hope that we can somehow go through this process and still deliver tax cuts to millionaire and billionaires. and that's just not going to happen. >> with just 28 days to go, who will make the next move in this fiscal faceoff? >> john boehner's counteroffer was pathetic. even the tea party members are saying that it was pathetic. this republican party in the house pet better show courage or it's going to be voted out of power two years from. >>
? then paradise lost. will president obama leave hawaii behind the day after christmas if a deal is in the works and the election hangover. new comments from one of mitt romney's sons that you might describe as puzzling. what do they really mean? and the gun battle rages on. new reports on why nothing may get done even after the sandy hook tragedy. >>> a massive tax hike and spending cuts -- republicans and democrats continue to point fingers in opposite directions, hinting that talks could go into the new year. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are, and i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. he senses a victory at the bottom of the cliff. >> we only have nine days left here. when are we going to get serious about actual solutions? i would welcome john to tell me. he says he wants a solution. give us one, john. >> meanwhile, president obama is spending christmas in hawaii where he and the first lady attended the holiday memorial service for the late u.s. senator from daniel inouye. >> white house correspondent kristen welker. kristen, obviously
that every obama has tried to do. it's really over a tax increase, and for what? it's really to stop primary challenges. that's what this is all about. i mean, it's really bringing the country to a standstill for their own political short term. >> "new york times" is talking about the urgency issue in all of this, and lacking urgency that we have witnessed. they say, yeah, with days left before the fiscal punch lands, both sides are exhibiting little sense of urgency. rather than to foster progress. perry is that the biggest thing, the primaries moving out of this and how everything looks back? >> i think there are two things going on. the first is democrats generally feel they won a man dade. they're not backing down -- the second thing is the primary issue. you have members of congress say last week there was a proposal to raise taxes, and a lot of republicans said i can't vote for that, a million only tax increase. they were worried about primaries. that's driving this in a very strong way. >>> there are people in washington, d.c. that will tell us this is how it all happens. congressman
are looked at as why both sides -- for many it means blaming president obama, and investigating for -- for democrats, the cliff is better than setting a rich man's cutoff in the million dollar range or -- and slashing medicare and social security to appease republicans. this is really -- i know we cause it the cliff, i look at it. it's a clean slate for both sides in 2013, and to dig in in a modern approach. >> well, if that's a republican strategy to blame the president, good luck with that. polls aren't bearing that out. they're getting most of the blame right now. as far as a clean slate, the question is how do markets react after january 1st? i think that's what a lot of members and what the leadership looks at. to joy's point, i think what republicans have demonstrated is they are experts at saying no, and they are experts to saying no to things they have supported in the past. we're talking about a combined $2 trillion in cuts, protecting tax cuts for small businesses, reforming the debt limit so it doesn't continue to provide uncertainty to businesses. these are all thing
the president's new negotiate i want aing style. it said mr. obama scattered by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by his re-election has shown to be a dlimp different negotiate or. the white house reminded people what the president basically campaigned on saying that everybody knew going in what they were getting re-lecting th this stifle president. does he walk with confidence of re-election under his belt and is this the way it's going to go, nor mr. nice guy approach? >> i think the president believes very strongly that we can't repeat the mistakes of the past. that going back to tax cuts for the wealthiest americans, hoping that trickles down the rest of us have failed us for well over a decade. what we need to do instead is be serious about protecting the middle class and the republicans agree with that. don't hold those tax breaks for millionaires hostage. let's reduce taxes for the middle class. that's something that we all agree on fine let's get it done. if we believe we need to make certain investments which we do to grow the economy, in infrastructure and innovation
popular president barack obama, trying to win that will be truly the super bowl. and the republican party today is incapable of competing at that level. >> we just had the super bowl. now we talk about the next one. "new york times" reporter jody cantor interviewed a number of clinton aides about the future plans of hillary clinton and they didn't hold back. jody, great to have you with me today. all corners of clinton world went on record with you about this. you point out the down sides ofa white house run in your piece saying the more serious issue here is she's about 2016, the less she can do. no frank, seen it all memoir. no clients, commissions or controversial positions that could prove problematic. given what the aides told you is it likely she's going to go off the grid for the next several years? >> she's definitely going off the grid for a few weeks or months. her plan is to try to exit the department of state by shortly after inauguration day. and then she really is going into seclusion. lots of people have been asking her to commit for events for 2013. the state department ha
the scenes, but as for publicly right now, melis melissa, the white house is not talking. president obama is basically launching this public campaign to pressure republicans. president obama came out on friday and urged them to get behind his plans. again today he sat down with david gregory, of course, during that exclusive interview on "meet the press" and urged republicans to act saying that it appears all they are interested in is protecting taxes for wealthy americans. republicans, by the way, lashed out at those comments saying the president seems more interested in placing blame instead of actually leading, but that at this point in time seems to be president obama's strategy to some extent, publicly pressuring republicans to act and to move on these negotiations. so that is where this stands right now. the white house monitoring everything that's going on the hill quite closely, but i can tell you, melissa, that there is a sense of optimism that is waning here at the white house. you can sense that when you talk to the officials here. >> well, the eternal optimist. vice president
. >> reporter: this morning in his weekly address, president obama is holding a hard line on raising rates for the wealthy. >> and if we're serious about protecting middle-class families, then we're also going to have to ask the wealthiest americans to pay higher tax rates. that's one principle i won't compromise on. >> reporter: but how much higher could be the key. the top tax rate is set to rise from 35% to 39.6% on january 1st. when asked if a middle ground could be found, both boehner and biden showed some wiggle room. >> the top brackets have to go up. it's not a negotiable issue. theoretically we can negotiate how far up. >> reporter: at another local restaurant, the owner has seen enough of washington gridlock. >> i wish those lawmakers would get their [ bleep ] together and get it done and try to help everybody. it would be good if they could do it before the holidays are over. >> reporter: craig, as someone who spent some time in river city here in washington, i wanted to show you this. these are the inaugural stands right on pennsylvania avenue, right in front of the white house
debate. president obama and his family are vacationing in hawaii and congress is on holiday recess. both sides are holding out hope that they will be able to reach a deal. >> this is something within our capacity to solve. it does not take this much work. we just have to do the right thing. >> of course, hope springs eternal and i know we have it in us to come together and do the right thing. >> listen to that, and it seems like they are both positive and feel something can get done. while both sides are away, the away and president in hawaii, can they get something done? >> reporter: well, look, richard, this will be a working vacation for president obama and i can also tell you that staffers on both sides of pennsylvania avenue will be in talks over the next several days despite the fact that they are technically on vacation. will they be able to get manage done that is significant over the next several days? probably not. but of course, lawmakers will head back to d.c. after the christmas holiday and resume negotiations again, and i expect we will see president obama cut his vacation
in connecticut. that was president obama just a few moments ago talking about the tragedy. that was a weekly radio address. he used his weekly radio address. mr. obama said the nation grieves for those killed in newtown and their families. he also said that it is time to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this. nbc's white house correspondent kristen welker there at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. and, kristin, the phrase there, meaningful action. lots of folks today wondering what the president means by those words. any indication at this point? >> reporter: of course we will have to wait for the coming days and weeks to learn what he specifically meant but it does natural we might see some renewed push important stiffer gun control laws. if you look back at this president's past record, his -- policy on this issue, he has said that he supports reinstating the ban on assault weapons. in the days after the shooting in aurora, colorado, he talked about this issue and he said that we need to have stiffer background checks to make sure that these weapons stay out of the hands of pe
days with both sides staying mum on the details. this afternoon president obama's fiscal photo-op off the day takes him to the suburban home of a middle class families in virginia, one of the thousands who responded to the white house's hash tag campaign, all of this happen being as a new poll comes out showing that when it comes to who americans trust more on the fiscal crisis, it's a democratic blowout. 56% say they trust the president and the democrats to make a good faith effort to cooperate with republicans. 51% say republicans won't act in good faith. and a whopping 65% support higher taxes on households making more than $250,000 a year. perhaps knowing this, the administration is talking with a little more political swagger. treasury secretary tim geithner drawing another hard line in the sand in this interview with cnbc. >> when it comes to raising taxes on the wealthy, those making more than $250,000, if republicans do not agree to that, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> absolutely. again, there's no prospect to an agreement that doesn't in
that bill right away making michigan the 24th state with the right to work. >>> yesterday president obama joined the chorus of voices condemning this move. >> by the way, what we shouldn't do, i just got to say this, what we shouldn't be doing is taking away your right to bargain for better wages. giving you the right to work for less money. >> nbc is live from lansing, michigan, and from detroit i'm joined by michigan democratic congressman gary peters. ron, i'm going to start with you. describe the scene for us there and what's at stake. >> reporter: good day to you. it just started snowing within the past few minutes. these folks are braving very cold temperatures here but they're very fired up about this legislation being pushed through the state house today. as you have reported it will turn michigan into a right to work state. republican governor rick schneider and other supporters of this legislation says it actually makes michigan more attractive for businesses around the country who may be considering relocating their businesses to michigan. workers are the ones you see behind me
a potential visit. but president obama has been getting updates on the situation. he was informed yesterday about an hour after the shooting happened, and was receiving regular updates throughout the day. of course, when he did address the nation, he was incredibly emotional and talked about the fact that he really has been watching these developments, not just as the president, but as a father as well. he got choked up. we saw him wipe away a number of tears. one of the other headlines that came out of his comments, craig, of course, is that he called for meaningful action, regardless of the politics. what specifically does that mean, we'll have to wait and see. we'll probably get more information about that in the coming days. but i can tell you that this president has made it clear that he supports a ban on assault weapons. that, of course, expired back in 2004. he has also called for better background checks and called for better preventative measures, to try to keep weapons out of the hands of people who are mentally unstable. we are in contact with the white house, trying to determine
for the largest tax increase in american history. >> president obama told reporters earlier in the day the republicans were putting the need to personally best him over what's best for the country. >> they keep on finding ways to say no as opposed to finding ways to say yes and i don't know how much of that just has to do with, you know, it is very hard for them to say yes to me. but, you know, at some point they have to take me out of it and think about their voters and think about what's best for the country. >> with five days until christmas and 12 days until the fiscal grinch comes to town, is plan b just part of the posturing or a real push over the precipice? >> what's happening here is speaker boehner cannot sell a reasonable compromise to what is a very right wing extreme tea party caucus. >> clearly, the republicans know that what they're doing today is simply a waste of time. this is not -- this is the lamest of congresses. >> hopefully, i mean, all of us are hoping that speaker boehner and president obama are talking more behind the scenes than we know. >> joining me now is
and the january deadline now just ten days away. president obama and his family are vacationing in hawaii and congress is on holiday recess after no new breakthrough and both sides are holding out and they'll be able to reach a deal. >> call me a hopeless optimist, but i actually still think we can get it done. >> of course, hope springs eternal and i know we have it in us to come together and to do the right thing. >> nbc's kristin welker is in hawaii and the president is still in talks while he's there or are the the talks on hiatus? >> richard, my sources tell me this is very much a working vacation for president obama and at this time there's no conversation between the president and congressional leaders and that doesn't mean that they're not going to happen. back in washington, d.c., staffers at the white house and on the hill are still there to some extent, communicating with each other and talking with each other, trying to get a deal going. it seemed earlier this week, richard, as though president obama and john boehner were getting close to some sort of a deal, a deal that would
term is that there are some things that work for obama and some things that don't. sitting down at a table with john boehner as essentially equals did not turn out as well as they might have hoped with the debt ceiling talks in 2011. but what did work was that winter when the president went to the country and argued for extending the payroll tax holiday and developed pressure outside of washington, he was a lot more successful. so they have two goals here. one is to keep the pressure coming from outside the beltway and the second is to make sure that this is not a negotiation between the president and boehner, that they want the president essentially floating above this. >> robert, when we talk and i know you had a chance to hear what congresswoman black will to say about trying to find the right balance here, while a majority of americans, say they go completely support raising taxes on wealthier americans, there is also a majority support that says we don't want to see earned benefits messed with, we don't want to see the medicare eligibility age raised, we don't want to see t
plan? >> that's what congressional democrats and president obama would like to see happen, and we have a discharge petition, which would bring the bill that has been sent from the senate and pass the senate overwhelmingly sent to the house, take that bill up and give, extend the tax breaks to the middle class and give certainty to the middle class as we move to, continue to move into the holiday season. all of the tax rates expire december 31st and we can deal with the tax breaks for the wealthiest most fortunate americans and others to avoid the fiscal cliff between now and december 31st but take what we agree on which is that the middle class tax cuts should be extended and tax rates should not go up for the middle class, let's do that now. the republicans refuse to do that thus far, which is sort of baffling. even some of their senior members like tom cole from oklahoma have said let's take that deal, but let's pass the tax cuts for the middle class and we're talking about making sure that tax rates for 98% of all americans and 97% of all businesses. it's a small percentage of indiv
we're at. that's no matter what president obama says, about whether or not he's going to play that game or not. republicans believe 70% of the country is with him on a debt ceiling increase and they're happy to have that fight. so you really are, the possibility ultimately of us going off the cliff is very high. because i think both parties are happy to let it happen. and have a new fight in january for different political reasons. >> ed, we saw and heard from tennessee senator bob corker say he is okay with raising tax rates. but at the end of the day, it only matters what john boehner can get the house republicans to accept. last week the speaker indicated he might be okay with raising rates, he backtracked a few hours later. what's the appetite right now for raising those rates? is that something that's going to be an easier sell for john boehner than a lot of folks think? >> i don't necessarily think so. i think until we see guys like say jason chafitz of utah or tim scott of south carolina start speaking out about the possibility of extending taxes for the middle class an
, $250,000, a ceiling if you will over which your taxes would go up. $400,000 was the last obama offer that we heard of. $450,000. the new democratic offer that we're hearing of. the gop is seeking to get it up to $550,000 per and um for income. and remember plan b that blew up in the face of house republicans? a million dollars and above and that is the key question as we head into this. what will the house of representatives do if the senate were to reach this deal with joe biden today? >> as the senate convenes we see them gathering on the left-hand side of the screen right now, very quickly is it even physically possible, we have 13 hours to do this. >> reporter: sure. but in the senate in particular that's usually the place where things get clogged up. they can really do anything if they get everybody onboard. unanimous consent, not to bore everybody with procedure but they can basically wave their hands over this thing if no one stands up to object. the house, however, ironically, may be kind of a different story where they normally can jam things through. we'll see what happens
million or less. this news comes from president obama placed another counteroffer on the table, his third one in nine days. joining me in kristen welker, nbc news correspondent. chr kristen, what do you make in light of the boehner plan put on the table? the president unupped them here. >> you look at the polls, they show if we do in fact go over the fiscal cliff, the majority of americans would place the blame on republicans. so house speaker john boehner putting forward the proposal that would increase taxes on those making $1 million or more. harry reid already responding. he said speaker boehner's plan "b" is the farthest thing from a balanced approach. it will not protect middle class families because it cannot pass both houses of congress. it would be a shame if republicans abandoned productive negotiations due to pressure from the tea party as they have time and time again." there you have democrats taking issue with this idea of raising taxes on those making $1 million or more. thomas, this plan "b" does not mean that negotiations are not going forward. they still are, two competi
she has. >> president obama has made the first serious step towards new efforts to reduce gun violence. meeting with members of his cabinet inside the white house yesterday. the group will be led by vice president joe biden and will begin looking at a set of proposals that include reinstating a ban on assault rifles like the one used by gunman adam lanza. >> it's the president's job to promote a plan that fixing, satisfies the needs of the country. he is the commander in chief. he's the consoler in chief but the commander in chief. joining me from newtown, connecticut, is chris jansing, host of "jansing & company." chris, we heard a lot of different things about flowers running out of local shops there in town because of the outpouring the support for the victims. as we watched the scene there grow. describe what you've been witnessing as you people prepare to bury two of these little 6-year-olds. >> everybody that i talked to, thomas, in this community,s especially the families have told me that they feel the support here and literally around the country. i was talking to principal ho
. president obama and this cabinet stood by her. >> mrs. rice is extraordinary. i couldn't be prouder of the job that she has done. [ applause ] >> and joining me now from the white house, nbc news correspondent viqueira. vic, will the gop continue its pile-on of the ambassador? will it have the opposite effect of hardening the president and daring him essentially to select her for secretary of state perhaps? >> well, you know, it's hard to say exactly what is going through the president's mind at this point. a lot of people think that he is really under the gun to make an appointment, but hillary clinton is still the secretary of state. he may have some time yet. perhaps even as much as a month or up to the inauguration on january 20th. so there is that. second of all, susan rice made that pilgrimage, if you will, up to the senate after all the criticism that she got from john mccain and lindsey graham and other key republican senators after her appearance on the sunday shows talking about the incident in benghazi. they were so angry because they say she disseminated false informatio
roberts. topping the agenda today president obama mays malalo to hawaii and aloha to washington, d.c. heading back and we're now six days and counting until the country sees the business end of the economic brink and taxes going up for all americans. so far, there's been no call for the house to get back to the hill. senators return to the capitol tomorrow. the question remains krks the president join congress and surf the rough political waters to get a deal in time? >> i think he's doing all he can and calving hell at the same time and there's give, give. i think it's very, very difficult, particularly after boehner's plan "b" failed. >> the key issue i think and the american people are catching on is that the problem that we have is we have a right wing political figure in the house way, way, way out of touch of what the american people are thinking. >>> there's early economic sinls that the uncertainty over the cliff may have clayed the role of scrooge this holiday season. early holiday numbers point to the worst year to year growth since 2008. >>> i think the president is stew
. president obama made a lot of concessions to john boehner. a lot of liberals didn't like all the concessions he made. he limited the reach of the tax cut, changed the indexing of social security. he put that stuff in there to get republican votes. i think if john boehner -- and it would take courage, said we're going to let the whole housework its will, you can't pass a lot of reasonable bills if you worked from the center out instead of starting from the far right and see what they can take. it's clear they're not going to accept much of anything that might be helpful. >> red state was reporting 34 would bolt from the caucus. what's your thought here, e.j.? did the republicans do a disservice to themselves? >> absolutely. i think they took themselves out of the negotiation. in the end, the house has to approve something. you were mentioning that a deal could start in the senate. even if you get something through the senate, is it stalls has to pass the house. again it's john boehner taking a big political risk, but saying we're going to put together a coalition of republicans who want to go
interview, president obama sat down with me in the blue room of the white house to discuss the way forward and his priorities for a second term. >>> mr. president, welcome back to "meet the press." >> great to be here. thank you. >> the obvious question, are we going to go over the fiscal cliff? >> we'll find out in the next 48 hours what congress will decide to do. but i think it's important for the american people to understand exactly what this fiscal cliff is. it's actually not that complicated. the tax cuts that were introduced in 2001, 2003, 2010, those were extended, and they are all about to expire at the end of the year. so on midnight december 31, if congress doesn't act, then everybody's taxes go up. and for the average family, that could mean a loss of $2,000 in income. for the entire economy, that means consumers have a lot less money to make purchases, which means businesses are going to have a lot less customers, which means that they are less likely to hire, and the whole economy could slow down at a time when the economy is actually starting to pick up. we are seeing signs
of tragedy, but stories of heroism. educators who made the ultimate sacrifice for children. president obama paid a special tribute to them last night. >> dawn hochsprung and mary sherlach, vickie soto, lauren rousseau, rachel davino and anne murphy. >> joining me now from newtown is mayor mark boughton of danbury, connecticut. thank you for being here. i understand you personally knew the principal there at sandy hook, dawn hochsprung. the principal who is being described as someone who sprang into action and was very safety-conscious at her short tenure at sandy hook. what other insights can you give us, the type of educator that dawn was? >> well, dawn and i worked in the same system back in the late '90ers for the city of danbury. we were in different buildings but our paths did cross from time to time. just an incredibly brave woman who really had a glow about her. she had a vivaciousness about her. she always put children first. it was very clear in any of her interactions that i saw her or was involved with her that kids were first. for that reason alone, it doesn't surprise me that s
obama, but the reality is that negotiations are largely deadlocked on all sides. there have been a few talks going on at the staff level, but the real bulk of this work is going to get done when lawmakers return to washington later this week after the christmas holiday and resume manageses. that's when we're going to see the focus really shift away from the house and on to the senate. of course, speaker boehner tried to get his plan b, alternative bill through the house. republicans rejected that, couldn't get enough votes for it. it was really a blow to speaker boehner. now we see the focus shift to the senate. senate majority leader harry reid, minority leader mitch mcconnell will try to hammer out a deal and by all accounts, it will be a smaller deal, thomas. >> nbc's kristen welker traveling with the president in hawaii. kristen, thanks so much. joining us to talk about the chances of reaching a deal, democratic congressman from minnesota, keith ellison. sir, it's good to have you here, and do you think, as you hear what kristen is reporting there, that it's -- that it's still opti
washington post." good afternoon to both of you. lynn, president obama, yesterday calling for, quote, meaningful action. the president and the president chooses his words very carefully. what do you think he means by meaningful action? >> well, this is the first time the -- he said he would do something in the wake of these horrible tragedies. so i think he put down a pledge to only -- only way to take sit he's going the look for some kind of a change in gun law. now we know that he -- i don't want to get lawyeresque on you and say, you know, but when you say meaningful action we can take a common sense plain reading of it that obama who has been very reluctant to do anything on the gun control issue is ready to do something. >> what are you hearing from lawmakers in d.c.? specifically perhaps lawmakers from the right. is there a -- different mood there at this point? >> well, we have heard the comments that we have heard after all of these other mass shoot things year which is we have to be careful about rushing to judgment. we have to be careful about necessarily enacting new gun l
to be a surprise issue for president obama's second term, he's got to take on head on. >> yes. definitely. we started talking about obama being person of the year long before six days ago. this is a subject that he has studiously avoided. i think this is the fourth or the fifth mass shooting that happened in his presidency. he has in fact laid low throughout all of this. if you see the way he's behaved since this particular shooting, the way he was so visibly moved, the way he has even acknowledged the kind of personal responsibility for not taking action sooner, i think quite to his surprise and the administration's surprise this has moved to the front of the agenda. this isn't going to go away and this is now along with all of the other issues that we were talking about when we chose him as person of the year, this is now folded in and has moved to the head of the class. this is top line-item now. >> so, alice, ron barber who was wounded in the tucson shooting, who took over gabby giffords' seat, said this of the second amendment when he appeared earlier on "the daily rundown". >> you call
, for example, that were seized or recovered. each singular round will be examined. >> president obama last night visited with families who lost loved ones inside that school. here, he is holding slain principal dawn hochsprung's baby granddaughter. the president sat among the mourners of newtown at the vigil and told them they are not alone in their grief. >> all across this land of ours, we have wept with you. we pulled our children tight. >> in this speech, one he penned largely on his own, the president promised the people of that community that their loss would not go unanswered. >> we can't tolerate this anymore. these tragedies must end. and to end them, we must change. >> the question is, will newtown's tragedy be the tipping point in a country that has failed to respond when lives were lost so many times before. the debate ignited over gun control once again, but this time, with a very different feel. >> conversation we have to have along with guns, along with military style semi-automatic assault weapons with these just gr grotesque magazines. >> very powerful signs we entered a d
get through the house and senate, but i think president obama certainly has a role to play. remember, he is the one who ran on the platform. >>> you heard him map out on friday. he would like a scaled-back version of the grand bargain, something to prevent taxes going up, and also lay the groundwork potentially for deficit reduction in the future. i think you will see president obama cut his vacation short, and continue to play a role in those negotiations. richard. >>> kristin, over the weekend, he attended the funeral for the late senator inouye, who he has called an inspiration to him. what did you see in that service? >> well, more than 20 members of congress attended, mostly democrats, majority leader harry reid spoke and praised senator inouye for his partisan spirit, reaching across the aisle. of course in an earlier memorial service, the president called the late senator his earlier inspiration, on a a lot of members of congress came together to pay their respects. >> thank you, kristin. >>> if congress and the president fail to reach a deal, the impact is as unlikely as imme
of the country which did just, of course, re-elect president obama on this plan. the talk about corporate taxes is fine but it's only a dime out of every federal dollar that we get out of corporate taxes. you're not going to make it all up there. you're not going to make it all up in sort of destroying entitlement programs which also are very popular. so the republicans have a losing hand on public opinion over the long term, the question is do they think they can get through a hostage crisis, a sequel to the hostage crisis we already had, something that they didn't get last time. i think ultimately the answer is going to be no. >> as we count down 20 days, the republicans losing their leverage as we get closer and closer, if we think about this in the new year as just a clean slate for everybody, and then we don't have to think about the debt ceiling which is coming up fast down the line anyway in the new year, isn't that a potentially better approach to go clean slate 2013? >> you know what, i have been thinking, thomas, just in the last few days about this. should this congress even make a b
obama held a moment of silence on his own away from the cameras. in a video release this had morning the president spoke to the thousands of american that is signed a we the people petition calling for gun control and vowed to take action. >> as i said earlier this week, i can't do it alone. i need your help. if we're going to succeed it will take a sustained effort for mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, law enforcement and responsible gun owners. >> with the president calling for concrete change by next month, there is already signs of republican resistance to his push for stronger gun control. >> what bothered me the most as a representative is how this has been politicized so quickly. >> do you dare come on my show and say i am using the slaughter of 20 little 6 and 7-year-old children? >> how many children do you have? >> joe, how many children do you have? >> i have four children, tim. answer my question. >> so do i and i refuse to let you say because you have children or anybody else that we need to actually politicize this. >> joining me now, delaware attorney general be
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